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Jan Grabowski (University of Ottawa, Professor of History) is co-founder of the Polish Center for Holocaust Research in Warsaw (2003) and a specialist in Jewish–Polish relations in German-occupied Poland during World War II and the Holocaust in Poland. He is the recipient of the Yad Vashem International Book Prize for Hunt for the Jews: Betrayal and Murder in German-Occupied Poland (2013).
Poland, on whose soil three million European Jews were murdered, has become the reluctant custodian of Holocaust memory. In an attempt to deal with this, and with their own complicity in the genocide, Polish society – and the state – have attempted to dissociate themselves from this history. Jan Grabowski, professor of history at the University of Ottawa, discussed the processes of dissociation and distortion, that have led to an unprecedented shift in public consciousness towards the dejudaization of the Holocaust. Michele and Robert Simpson sponsored the lecture in memory of Herbert M. Rein.